56 songs (plus 13 intros) recorded live by the Beatles in the BBC studios between 1962 and 1965, including 30 songs never released by the band! That means you hear the greatest rock 'n' roll band of all time do everything from Lucille to Glad All Over for the first time! Compiled by George Martin.
The surviving members of the Fab Four spent much of the 1990s belatedly reuniting to document, promote, and occasionally awkwardly burnish their unparalleled pop music legacy. This double-disc anthology of live-in-the-studio performances originally recorded specifically for the BBC during the most frantic years of early Beatlemania was the first chapter in that effort and the first issuance of previously unreleased Beatles recordings since the late '70s. In many ways, it remains the most artistically revealing. Capturing them at their early '60s live-performance peak, these recordings pay homage to both the band's eclectic musical influences (including Chuck Berry, Phil Spector, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Larry Williams, the Coasters, and the Shirelles), and to the enthusiastic and generous sense of musical discovery and the pop proselytizing that accompanied them. A number of the Fabs' own '62-'65 singles and album tracks are also featured, but they mostly take a back seat to the generous collection of previously unreleased cover songs included here. The band's brisk, often irreverent sense of humor also comes to fore in the intros, interviews, and between-song banter. An indispensable part of any true Beatlemaniac's collection and a superb introduction to the roots of a musical legend. --Jerry McCulley